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How to Screen Compost – Separate Fertilizer from Worms, Sticks, and Debris

In this article and video, Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm gives you step-by-step instructions for screening compost. Screening compost is a common way of improving the quality of finished compost. After kitchen scraps and gardening waste has been broken down over several months, it’s almost ready to be applied to the garden. Running it through a screen has many benefits: removes sticks, debris, produce stickers and uncomposted food scraps adds air breaks down clumps into fine pieces removes composting worms, so they can be returned to the composting bin The finer the compost, the better. Good growing soil is loose and fluffy, with plenty of air

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How to Make a Screen to Separate Worms from Compost

If you have been composting with worms, you will occasionally want to harvest those valuable worm castings. This completed compost is rich in nutrients and perfect for the garden. Completed compost helps plants grow strong. One way easy to separate the worms from the compost is to use a screen. Here at Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm, we use more sophisticated machines to separate hundreds of thousands of worms a week. For

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Tiny Houses Adopt Composting Toilets with Worms

If you are planning to build a tiny house, you will need to make a decision about the toilet. Does the idea of scurrying to an external restroom in the cold and dark bother you? Not interested in emptying a chamber pot? Many tiny houses are designed to have an internal toilet for these reasons. Your two choices are a composting toilet or a flush toilet. Depending on how often the tiny house is moved, where it is located and how cold it gets, indoor plumbing can be problematic. You may be required to establish a septic tank or connect to a sewage system. If you are motivated to solve these problems and get a flush toilet operational, go for it. But first, find out the advantages of a composting toilet. Many tiny home owners opt for a composting toilet. Some advantages

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Community Garden Composting: Why and How

Community gardening projects are popping up all over. Setting up a garden helps bring the neighborhood together, makes use of wasted space, improves air quality, provides food for insects and birds, and produces fresh food. If you are involved in setting up a community garden, you need to include a system for composting leftover vegetation. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm offers these ideas and instructions for establishing functional and safe composting systems. Why Your Community Garden Needs a Composting System If this is the first time you are gardening on this scale,

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Composting Food Service Dinnerware & Cutlery

The food service industry is starting to save resources by composting. Organic matter like kitchen scraps and wasted food can be composted. Certain types of food service items like dinnerware, cutlery, cups and straws can also be composted. Institutions and restaurant, as well as consumers, are learning how to help save resources by reducing waste. Disposable plates, bowls, cups, knives, and forks are definitely convenient. They may be preferred over washable, durable, re-usable dinnerware and cutlery for several reasons. Some places – especially schools – lose too many items to pilfering. Sometimes it’s just cheaper to provide disposable items instead of stocking,

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Small-Scale Composting with Worms: Vermiculture in the City

Turning kitchen scraps into valuable fertilizer might sound unrealistic to a household in the city. Aren’t composters usually on a large piece of land? No! Vermiculture means using worms to break down food scraps. Their stealth and speed mean you can compost right in your kitchen, balcony or rooftop! Small-scale vermiculture is one way that an urban dweller can help save the environment. It also creates excellent fertilizer for plants, and it’s a fun project. The problem with tossing kitchen scraps in the trash is that mixed garbage stinks! It attracts pests and takes energy to get moved out of the city. Once it has been hauled away, that trash either goes to a landfill or an incinerator. Neither is good for the environment. Landfills waste space and generate methane, a greenhouse gas. Incinerators pollute the air and produce toxic ash.

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The Differences Between Biogas and Composting for Managing Organic Waste

Both biogas and composting turn wasted organic material into something useful. Biogas makes methane, which is collected and burned to generate electricity. Composting makes organic fertilizer, which is used by gardeners, golf course managers and farmers to grow plants. Let’s dig into depth about their similarities and differences. Scale: All Sizes Both systems can work on any scale. Biogas is usually done on a large scale by a municipality or energy company. Some adventurous households tackle it themselves with DIY biogas generators. Composting can be done on a small scale in a household, for an entire apartment building or campus, or on a massive municipal basis. Inputs: Similar Both processes need organic matter, such as kitchen scraps, left-over vegetables

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Should We Use Biogas or Composting to Solve Food Waste Problems?

Did you know that when food rots without oxygen, it creates a greenhouse gas called methane? Methane is a greenhouse gas that causes climate change. If the food goes to a landfill and it deprived of oxygen, the methane releases into the atmosphere. It can build up and can cause explosions, sometimes it is burned off for safety. If the food is put into a composter, the aerobic process turns the wasted food into organic fertilizer. And if it goes to a biogas plant, an anaerobic (low-oxygen) process turns it into methane, which is burned in large quantities to produce electricity. Approximately a third of edible food in the United States is wasted. This is around 20 pounds of food per person per month. It’s wasted at all points in food production: at the farm, in processing, in transit, at the store and in the home. The only part that most of us can control is in

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Should I Buy Compost or Make My Own Compost?

Here at Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm, we sell an awful lot of finished compost to people who want to fertilize their plants, gardens and lawns naturally. We also sell huge quantities of composting worms for making compost. Sometimes, folks ask us, “Should I buy worms to make my own compost, or order finished compost?” The answer to this question depends on several factors.

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What Can I feed my Worms?

A frequently asked question if not the most asked question I get is, “What can I feed my worms?!” So I have decided to come up with a basic list of what you can feed your worms. I will also include a list of things to keep out of the worm bin. Things to feed your worms include: Fruits Vegetables Paper Squash and Pumpkin Eggshells Coffee Bread Pasta Tea Bags Grains Hair Lawn Clippings (aged, fresh clippings may heat up and kill the worms) Animal Manure (not dog or cat) Here is a very basic list of what to not put in the worm bin: Salty Foods Citrus Spicy Foods Oils Foods with preservatives meat dairy There are a few other things to keep in mind when feeding your worms. The smaller the matter the easier and faster for the worms to compost.  Chopping large chunks of food to feed worms is recommended but not necessary. You can puree, freeze, or microwave food scraps before adding them to your worm composter to help break down material. Make sure that food has returned to room temperature before adding it to your worm bin. Try to keep a balance of browns and greens. Browns and greens are nicknames for different types of organic matter to use in composting. Browns are high in carbon or carbohydrates, thus they are organic carbon sources. These foods supply the energy that most soil organisms need to survive. Carbons also help absorb the offensive odors and capture and help …

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